Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long, stout bills. They belong to the family called Ciconiidae, and make up the order Ciconiiformes. Ciconiiformes previously included a number of other families, such as herons and ibises, but those families have been moved to other orders.
Storks dwell in many regions and tend to live in drier habitats than the closely related herons, spoonbills and ibises; they also lack the powder down that those groups use to clean off fish slime. Bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Many species are migratory. Most storks eat frogs, fish, insects, earthworms, small birds and small mammals. There are nineteen living species of storks in six genera.
Various terms are used to refer to groups of storks, two frequently used ones being a muster of storks and a phalanx of storks.
Storks tend to use soaring, gliding flight, which conserves energy. Soaring requires thermal air currents. Ottomar Anschütz’s famous 1884 album of photographs of storks inspired the design of Otto Lilienthal's experimental gliders of the late nineteenth century. Storks are heavy, with wide wingspans: the marabou stork, with a wingspan of 3.2 m (10 ft) and weight up to 8 kg (18 lb), joins the Andean condor in having the widest wingspan of all living land birds.
Their nests are often very large and may be used for many years. Some nests have been known to grow to over two metres (six feet) in diameter and about three metres (ten feet) in depth. Storks were once thought to be monogamous, but this is only partially true. They may change mates after migrations, and may migrate without a mate.
J. E. Gray, 1840
Storks are large to very large waterbirds. They range in size from the marabou, which stands 152 cm (60 in) tall and can weigh 8.9 kg (20 lb), to the Abdim's stork, which is only 75 cm (30 in) high and only weighs 1.3 kg (2.9 lb). Their shape is superficially similar to the herons, with long legs and necks, but they are heavier-set. There is some sexual dimorphism (differences between males and females) in size, with males being up to 15% bigger than females in some species (for example the saddle-billed stork), but almost no difference in appearance. The only difference is in the colour of the iris of the two species in the genus Ephippiorhynchus.
The bills of the storks are large to very large, and vary considerably between the genera. The shape of the bills is linked to the diet of the different species. The large bills of the Ciconia storks are the least specialised. Larger are the massive and slightly upturned bills of the Ephippiorhynchus and the jabiru. These have evolved to hunt for fish in shallow water. Larger still are the massive daggers of the two adjutants and marabou (Leptoptilos), which are used to feed on carrion and in defence against other scavengers, as well as for taking other prey. The long, ibis-like downcurved bills of the Mycteria storks have sensitive tips that allow them to detect prey by touch (tactilocation) where cloudy conditions would not allow them to see it. The most specialised bills of any storks are those of the two openbills (Anastomus.), which as their name suggested is open in the middle when their bill is closed. These bills have evolved to help openbills feed on their only prey item, aquatic snails.
Although it is sometimes reported that storks lack syrinxes and are mute, they do have syrinxes, and are capable of making some sounds, although they do not do so often. The syrinxes of the storks are "variably degenerate" however, and the syringeal membranes of some species are found between tracheal rings or cartilage, an unusual arrangement shared with the ovenbirds.
The storks have a nearly cosmopolitan distribution, being absent from the poles, most of North America and large parts of Australia, The centres of stork diversity are in tropical Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, with eight and six breeding species respectively. Just three species are present in the New World: wood stork, maguari stork and jabiru, which is the tallest flying bird of the Americas. Two species, white and black stork, reach Europe and western temperate Asia, while one species, Oriental stork, reaches temperate areas of eastern Asia, and one species, black-necked stork, is found in Australasia.
Storks are more diverse and common in the tropics, and the species that live in temperate climates for the most part migrate to avoid the worst of winter. They are fairly diverse in their habitat requirements. Some species, particularly the Mycteria "wood storks" and Anastomus openbills, are highly dependent on water and aquatic prey, but many other species are far less dependent on this habitat type, although they will frequently make use of it. Species like the marabou and Abdim's stork will frequently be found foraging in open grasslands of savannah. Preferred habitats include flooded grasslands, light woodland, marshes and paddyfields, wet meadows, river backwaters and ponds. Many species will select shallow pools, particularly when lakes or rivers are drying out, as they concentrate prey and make it harder for prey to escape.
Less typical habitats include the dense temperate forests used by European black storks, or the rainforest habitat sought by Storm's stork in South East Asia. They generally avoid marine habitats, with the exception of the lesser adjutant, milky stork and wood stork, all of which forage in mangroves, lagoons and estuarine mudflats. A number of species have adapted to highly modified human habitats, either for foraging or breeding. In the absence of persecution several species breed close to people, and species such as the marabou and white stork will feed at landfill sites.
The storks vary in their tendency towards migration. Temperate species like the white stork, black stork and Oriental stork undertake long annual migrations in the winter. The routes taken by these species have developed to avoid long distance travel across water, and from Europe this usually means flying across the Straits of Gibraltar or east across the Bosphorus and through Israel and the Sinai. Studies of young birds denied the chance to travel with others of their species have shown that these routes are at least partially learnt, rather than being innate as they are in passerine migrants. Migrating black storks are split between those that make stopovers on the migration between Europe and their wintering grounds in Africa, and those that don't.
The Abdim's stork is another migrant, albeit one that migrates within the tropics. It breeds in northern Africa, from Senegal to the Red Sea, during the wet season, and then migrates to Southern Africa. Many species that aren't regular migrants will still make smaller movements if circumstances require it; others may migrate over part of their range. This can also include regular commutes from nesting sites to feeding areas. Wood storks have been observed feeding 130 km (81 mi) from their breeding colony.
The storks are carnivorous, taking a range of reptiles, small mammals, insects, fish, amphibians and other small invertebrates. Any plant material consumed is usually by accident. Mycteria storks are specialists in feeding on aquatic vertebrates, particularly when prey in concentrated by lowering water levels or flooding into shallows. On marine mudflats and mangrove swamps in Sumatra milky storks feed on mudskippers, probing the burrow with the bill and even the whole head into the mud. The characteristic feeding method involves standing or walking in shallow water and holding the bill submerged in the water. When contact is made with prey the bill reflexively snaps shut in 25 milliseconds, one of the fastest reactions known in any vertebrate. The reaction is able to distinguish between prey items and inanimate objects like branches, although the exact mechanism is unknown.
Openbills are specialists in freshwater molluscs, particularly apple snails. They feed in small groups, sometimes African openbills ride on the backs of hippos while foraging. Having caught a snail it will return to land or at least to the shallows to eat it. The fine tip of the bill of the openbills is used to open the snail, and the saliva has a narcotic effect, which causes the snail to relax and simplifies the process of extraction.
The other genera of storks are more generalised. Ciconia storks are very generalised in their diets, although Abdim's stork is something of a specialist in feeding in large flocks on swarms of locusts and at wildfires, although other storks will opportunistically feed in this way if the opportunity arises. This is why white storks and Abdim's storks are known as "grasshopper birds". The foraging method used by the generalists is to stalk or walk across grassland or shallow water, watching for prey.
The storks range from being solitary breeders through loose breeding associations to fully colonial. The jabiru, Ephippiorhynchus storks and several species of Ciconia are entirely solitary when breeding. In contrast the Mycteria storks, Abdim's stork, openbills and Leptoptilos storks all breed in colonies which can range from a couple of pairs to thousands. Many of these species breed in colonies with other waterbirds, which can include other species of storks, herons and egrets, pelicans, cormorants and ibises. White storks, Oriental storks and Maguari storks are all loosely colonial, and may breed in nests that are within visual range of others of the same species, but have little to do with one another. They also may nest solitarily, and the reasons why they choose to nest together or apart are not understood.
Storks were distinct and possibly widespread by the Oligocene. Like most families of aquatic birds, storks seem to have arisen in the Palaeogene, maybe 40–50 million years ago (mya). For the fossil record of living genera, documented since the Middle Miocene (about 15 mya) at least in some cases, see the genus articles.
Though some storks are highly threatened, no species or subspecies are known to have gone extinct in historic times. A Ciconia bone found in a rock shelter on the island of Réunion was probably of a bird taken there as food by early settlers; no known account mentions the presence of storks on the Mascarene Islands.
The fossil genera Eociconia (Middle Eocene of China) and Ciconiopsis (Deseado Early Oligocene of Patagonia, Argentina) are often tentatively placed with this family. A "ciconiiform" fossil fragment from the Touro Passo Formation found at Arroio Touro Passo (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) might be of the living wood stork M. americana; it is at most of Late Pleistocene age, a few 10,000s of years.
The Modern English word can be traced back to Proto-Germanic *sturkaz. Nearly every Germanic language has a descendant of this proto-language word to indicate the (white) stork. Related names also occur in Latvian, stārķis, and some Slavic languages, e.g. štorklja in Slovenian and “щъркел” [shtŭrkel] in Bulgarian, originating as Germanic loanwords.
According to the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, the Germanic root is probably related to the modern English "stark", in reference to the stiff or rigid posture of a European species, the white stork. A non-Germanic word linked to it may be Greek torgos ("vulture").
In some West Germanic languages cognate words of a different etymology exist, e.g. ooievaar in Dutch. They originate from *uda-faro, uda being related to water meaning something like swamp or moist area and faro being related to fare; so *uda-faro is something like he who walks in the swamp. In later times this name got reanalysed as *ōdaboro, ōda "fortune, wealth" + boro "bearer" meaning he who brings wealth adding to the myth of storks as maintainers of welfare and bringers of children.
In Estonian, "stork" is toonekurg, which is derived from toonela (underworld in Estonian folklore) + kurg (crane). At the times storks were named, the now-rare black stork was probably the more common species.
The Abdim's stork (Ciconia abdimii), also known as white-bellied stork, is a black stork with grey legs, red knees and feet, grey bill and white underparts. It has red facial skin in front of the eye and blue skin near the bill in breeding season. It is the smallest species of stork, at 73 cm (29 in) and a weight of just over 1 kg (2.2 lbs). The female lays two to three eggs and is slightly smaller than the male.
The Abdim's stork is found in open habitats throughout Eastern Africa, from Ethiopia south to South Africa. Its diet consists mainly of locusts, caterpillars and other large insects, although the birds will also eat small reptiles, amphibians, mice, crabs and eggs. The Abdim's stork has escaped or been deliberately released in to Florida, USA, but there is no evidence that the population is breeding and may only persist due to continuing releases or escapes.
Among the smallest storks, this species is welcomed and protected by local Africans who believe that it is a harbinger of rain and good luck. The name commemorates the Turkish Governor of Wadi Halfa in Sudan, Bey El-Arnaut Abdim (1780–1827).Widespread and common throughout its large range, the Abdim's stork is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is the subject of several nationally coordinated breeding programs: in the United States, the plan for this species is administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and in Europe by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.Asian openbill
The Asian openbill or Asian openbill stork (Anastomus oscitans) is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. This distinctive stork is found mainly in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is greyish or white with glossy black wings and tail and the adults have a gap between the arched upper mandible and recurved lower mandible. Young birds are born without this gap which is thought to be an adaptation that aids in the handling of snails, their main prey. Although resident within their range, they make long distance movements in response to weather and food availability.Baby shower
A baby shower is a party of gift-giving or a ceremony that has different names in different cultures. It celebrates the delivery or expected birth of a child or the transformation of a woman into a mother.Black-necked stork
The black-necked stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) is a tall long-necked wading bird in the stork family. It is a resident species across the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia with a disjunct population in Australia. It lives in wetland habitats and certain crops such as rice and wheat where it forages for a wide range of animal prey. Adult birds of both sexes have a heavy bill and are patterned in white and glossy blacks, but the sexes differ in the colour of the iris. In Australia, it is sometimes called a jabiru although that name refers to a stork species found in the Americas. It is one of the few storks that is strongly territorial when feeding.Black stork
The black stork (Ciconia nigra) is a large bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It was first described by Carl Linnaeus in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae. Measuring on average 95 to 100 cm (37 to 39 in) from beak tip to end of tail with a 145-to-155 cm (57-to-61 in) wingspan, the adult black stork has mainly black plumage, with white underparts, long red legs and a long pointed red beak. A widespread but uncommon species, it breeds in scattered locations across Europe (predominantly in Spain, and central and eastern parts), and Asia to the Pacific Ocean. It is a long-distance migrant, with European populations wintering in tropical Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asian populations in the Indian subcontinent. When migrating between Europe and Africa, it avoids crossing the Mediterranean Sea and detours via the Levant in the east or the Strait of Gibraltar in the west. An isolated, non-migratory, population occurs in Southern Africa.
Unlike the closely related white stork, the black stork is a shy and wary species. It is seen singly or in pairs, usually in marshy areas, rivers or inland waters. It feeds on amphibians, small fish and insects, generally wading slowly in shallow water stalking its prey. Breeding pairs usually build nests in large forest trees—most commonly deciduous but also coniferous—which can be seen from long distances, as well as on large boulders, or under overhanging ledges in mountainous areas. The female lays two to five greyish-white eggs, which become soiled over time in the nest. Incubation takes 32 to 38 days, with both sexes sharing duties, and fledging takes 60 to 71 days.
The black stork is considered to be a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, but its actual status is uncertain. Despite its large range, it is nowhere abundant, and it appears to be declining in parts of its range, such as in India, China and parts of Western Europe, though increasing in others such as the Iberian Peninsula. Various conservation measures have been taken for the black stork, like the Conservation Action Plan for African black storks by Wetlands International. It is also protected under the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.Bryan Stork
Bryan Stork (born November 15, 1990) is a former American football center. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Florida State.
In the span of 13 months, Stork was the starting center for Florida State's win in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game as a senior, and the starting center as a rookie for the Patriots when they won Super Bowl XLIX. His NFL career lasted only two years after a series of concussions and a failed trade.Gilbert Stork
Gilbert Stork (December 31, 1921 – October 21, 2017) was an organic chemist. For a quarter of a century he was the Eugene Higgins Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at Columbia University. He is known for making significant contributions to the total synthesis of natural products, including a lifelong fascination with the synthesis of quinine. In so doing he also made a number of contributions to mechanistic understanding of reactions, and performed pioneering work on enamine chemistry, leading to development of the Stork enamine alkylation.
It is believed he was responsible for the first planned stereocontrolled synthesis as well as the first natural product to be synthesised with high stereoselectivity.Stork was also an accomplished mentor of young chemists and many of his students have gone on to make significant contributions in their own right.Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies filmography (1950–59)
This is a listing of all the animated shorts released by Warner Bros. under the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies banners between 1950 and 1959.
A total of 278 shorts were released during the 1950s.Marabou stork
The marabou stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer) is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It breeds in Africa south of the Sahara, in both wet and arid habitats, often near human habitation, especially landfill sites. It is sometimes called the "undertaker bird" due to its shape from behind: cloak-like wings and back, skinny white legs, and sometimes a large white mass of "hair".Painted stork
The painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala) is a large wader in the stork family. It is found in the wetlands of the plains of tropical Asia south of the Himalayas in the Indian Subcontinent and extending into Southeast Asia. Their distinctive pink tertial feathers of the adults give them their name. They forage in flocks in shallow waters along rivers or lakes. They immerse their half open beaks in water and sweep them from side to side and snap up their prey of small fish that are sensed by touch. As they wade along they also stir the water with their feet to flush hiding fish. They nest colonially in trees, often along with other waterbirds. The only sounds they produce are weak moans or bill clattering at the nest. They are not migratory and only make short distance movements in some parts of their range in response to changes in weather or food availability or for breeding. Like other storks, they are often seen soaring on thermals.Saddle-billed stork
The saddle-billed stork, or saddlebill (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) is a large wading bird in the stork family, Ciconiidae. It is a widespread species which is a resident breeder in sub-Saharan Africa from Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya south to South Africa, and in The Gambia, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Chad in west Africa.
This is a close relative of the widespread Asian and Australian black-necked stork, the only other member of the genus Ephippiorhynchus.Shoebill
The shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) also known as whalehead, whale-headed stork, or shoe-billed stork, is a very large stork-like bird. It derives its name from its enormous shoe-shaped bill. It has a somewhat stork-like overall form and has previously been classified with the storks in the order Ciconiiformes based on this morphology. However, genetic evidence places it with the Pelecaniformes. The adult is mainly grey while the juveniles are browner. It lives in tropical east Africa in large swamps from Sudan to Zambia.Stork (film)
Stork is a 1971 Australian comedy film directed by Tim Burstall. Stork is based on the play The Coming of Stork by David Williamson. Bruce Spence and Jacki Weaver make their feature film debuts in Stork, being honoured at the 1972 Australian Film Institute Awards, where they shared the acting prize. Stork won the prize for best narrative feature and Tim Burstall won for best direction. Stork was one of the first ocker comedies. Stork was the first commercial success of the Australian cinema revival called the Australian New Wave.Stork Naked
Stork Naked is a fantasy novel by British-American writer Piers Anthony, the thirtieth book of the Xanth series.Travis Lane Stork
Travis Lane Stork (born March 9, 1972) is an American television personality and emergency physician best known for appearing on The Bachelor and as the host of the syndicated daytime talk show The Doctors.White stork
The white stork (Ciconia ciconia) is a large bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. Its plumage is mainly white, with black on its wings. Adults have long red legs and long pointed red beaks, and measure on average 100–115 cm (39–45 in) from beak tip to end of tail, with a 155–215 cm (61–85 in) wingspan. The two subspecies, which differ slightly in size, breed in Europe (north to Finland), northwestern Africa, southwestern Asia (east to southern Kazakhstan) and southern Africa. The white stork is a long-distance migrant, wintering in Africa from tropical Sub-Saharan Africa to as far south as South Africa, or on the Indian subcontinent. When migrating between Europe and Africa, it avoids crossing the Mediterranean Sea and detours via the Levant in the east or the Strait of Gibraltar in the west, because the air thermals on which it depends for soaring do not form over water.
A carnivore, the white stork eats a wide range of animal prey, including insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and small birds. It takes most of its food from the ground, among low vegetation, and from shallow water. It is a monogamous breeder, but does not pair for life. Both members of the pair build a large stick nest, which may be used for several years. Each year the female can lay one clutch of usually four eggs, which hatch asynchronously 33–34 days after being laid. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs and both feed the young. The young leave the nest 58–64 days after hatching, and continue to be fed by the parents for a further 7–20 days.
The white stork has been rated as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It benefited from human activities during the Middle Ages as woodland was cleared, but changes in farming methods and industrialisation saw it decline and disappear from parts of Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Conservation and reintroduction programs across Europe have resulted in the white stork resuming breeding in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden. It has few natural predators, but may harbour several types of parasite; the plumage is home to chewing lice and feather mites, while the large nests maintain a diverse range of mesostigmatic mites. This conspicuous species has given rise to many legends across its range, of which the best-known is the story of babies being brought by storks.Wood stork
The wood stork (Mycteria americana) is a large American wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It was formerly called the "wood ibis", though it is not an ibis. It is found in subtropical and tropical habitats in the Americas, including the Caribbean. In South America, it is resident, but in North America, it may disperse to as far as South America. Originally described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, this stork likely evolved in tropical regions. The head and neck are bare of feathers and dark grey in colour. The plumage is mostly white, with the exception of the tail and some of the wing feathers, which are black with a greenish-purplish sheen. The juvenile differs from the adult, with the former having a feathered head and a yellow bill, compared to the black adult bill. The sexes are similar.
The habitat of the wood stork can vary, but it must have a tropical or subtropical climate with fluctuating water levels. The one metre (3.3 ft) in diameter nest is found in trees, especially mangroves and those of the genus Taxodium, usually surrounded by water or over water. The wood stork nests colonially. The nest itself is made from sticks and greenery. During the breeding season, which is initiated when the water levels drop and can occur anytime between November and August, a single clutch of three to five eggs is laid. These are incubated for around 30 days, and the chicks hatch altricial. They fledge 60 to 65 days after hatching, although only about 31% of nests fledge a chick in any given year, with most chicks dying during their first two weeks, despite being watched by an adult during that time. The chicks are fed fish of increasing size. The diet of the adult changes throughout the year. During the dry season, fish and insects are eaten, compared to the addition of frogs and crabs during the wet season. Because it forages by touch, it needs shallow water to effectively catch food. This is also the reason why the wood stork breeds when water levels start to fall.
Globally, the wood stork is considered to be of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This is due to its large range. In the United States, on the other hand, it is considered to be threatened. Predators of the wood stork include raccoons, which predate chicks, northern crested caracaras, which prey on eggs, and other birds of prey, which feed on both eggs and chicks. Hunting and egg-collecting by humans has been implicated as a factor in the decline of South American wood storks. Humans also cause nest failures through ecotourism, although observation through binoculars about 75 metres (246 ft) away does not have a large effect on nesting success. In both North and South America, habitat alteration has caused the wood stork to decline, with levee and drainage systems in the Everglades causing a shift in the timing of breeding and thus a decrease in breeding success.Woolly-necked stork
The woolly-necked stork or whitenecked stork (Ciconia episcopus) is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It breeds singly, or in small loose colonies. It is distributed in a wide variety of habitats including marshes in forests, agricultural areas, and freshwater wetlands.Wärtsilä
Wärtsilä Oyj Abp (Finnish: [ˈʋærtsilæ]) is a Finnish corporation which manufactures and services power sources and other equipment in the marine and energy markets. The core products of Wärtsilä include technologies for the energy sector, including gas, multi-fuel, liquid fuel and biofuel power plants and energy storage systems; and technologies for the marine sector, including cruise ships, ferries, fishing vessels, merchant ships, navy ships, special vessels, tugs, yachts and offshore vessels. Ship design capabilities include ferries, tugs, and vessels for the fishing, merchant, offshore and special segments. Services offerings include online services, underwater services, turbocharger services, and also solutions for the marine, energy, and oil and gas markets. At the end of June 2018, the company employed more than 19,000 workers.Wärtsilä has two main businesses; Energy Business focusing on the energy market, and Marine Business focusing on the marine market. The Marine Business is mainly present in Europe, China and East Asia, while its key Energy Business markets are South and South East Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Wärtsilä has locations in around 80 countries but operates globally.The company has signaled its intention to transform from an equipment maker to a Smart Marine and Energy company, following acquisitions of companies such as Transas, Greensmith, Guidance Marine, and MSI, and the setting up of Digital Acceleration Centres in Helsinki, Singapore, Central Europe, and North America.
Nineteen extant species in six genera